tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC May 12, 2015 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT
>> i'm going to stay on the scene. we have the deputy mayor that's here on-site, a city councilman from northeast very much for your invaluable eyewitness account and that incredible experience you went through. thank you for joining us and helping us with understanding all of this. patrick murphy thank you very much. we are continued coverage now of what appears to be this crash, possibly seriously -- involving serious injury in pennsylvania. rachel maddow will take over the rest of the way with the live coverage. >> thanks lawrence. i appreciate that. this does appear to be a large multicausality amtrak passenger plane crash tonight in northeast philadelphia. the local nbc station in philadelphia are doing great coverage tonight, both in terms of their chopper and on the ground reporting. nbc philadelphia station is
reporting tonight as best as they can tell they expect there will be more than 50 people injured on this train tonight. once we know exactly what happened, more than 200 people were apparently onboard this train. amtrak was saying 240 people onboard this train. patrick murphy former congressman, msnbc host said he heard from first responders the number may have been 211 people onboard the train, but we can safely say more than 200 people onboard when eight to ten of the cars on this train apparently derailed. from what we can glean, anecdotally from the people we have spoken to who were on the train and we have been in contact with several of them including a couple of nbc employees, it seems that cars further toward the rear of the train faired better than train cars at the front of the train. that gives us some reason to make suppositions about what may have been the cause of the derailment, but at this point that would just be supposed. we do not know.
local fire commissioner on the scene has reportedly called this a mass causality event. we have seen injuries and heard firsthand reports of injuries. we do not have detailed characterization of the injuries at this point. either in terms of the total number, again, we've got that estimate that there are more than 50 people injured. we don't have a more specific number than that nor a more official number than that nor do we have the estimate of the character of the injuries at this point, how serious those injuries may be. we've certainly seen people taken to hospitals and some other people who considered to be the walking wounded in a situation like this. as lawrence was reiterating over the course of the last hour never been on an amtrak passenger train like this there aren't any seat belts and there is a lot of space, much more than in a passenger car if you are traveling as a passenger on a passenger rail car like this. what that means in the case of an abrupt collision, that means there's a lot of room inside the train car for people to crash,
for people to move through the car and injure themselves simply by virtue of the fact that the momentum of the crash is going to make them crash into other parts of the car. we also specifically have seen some of these cars on their side or on their roof. one of the things that obviously, we are dreading but looking for information about is the possibility there may be any fatalities. i also should tell you not this exact aerial view here but another aerial view we have seen over the course of the evening is one car that appears to be so smashed by whatever this impact was, whatever the cause of this derailment was, that it sort of bent around in the middle so it's more like a letter "c" than it is like a straightline rail car like the one there on its side. we don't know. channel 10 in philadelphia has a reporter on the scene. let's listen in to that local report right now. >> reporter: the injuries up to
this point, i've seen bruises, lacerations, cuts. one of the passengers i spoke with didn't want to describe what he saw in words, the train that derailed. multiple injuries at least 50 what we've been hearing. this is what i've heard thus far. the former bucks county congressman is actually there right now and let's go back live right now. what we're waiting for is philadelphia mayor michael nutter to remain on scene. there's also the police commissioner charles ramsey, he's right there in the middle wearing white. we're waiting for him to address the media at this point because they have cordoned off this entire area, about a four-block radius that they have shut down. plenty of people out here as well. that's what we're seeing and hearing. that's where the train derailed excuse me throat's dry from all the excitement out here. there is still victims coming forward right now, two sets of
buses that just took people away. as soon as this news conference happens, we'll bring it to you live. for now, we're leave, keith jones, nbc10 news. >> one of the things that's happening over the course of the night, we have been monitoring news feeds, nbc philadelphia has been doing a really really good job covering this tonight. we'll be dipping in and out of their feed tonight as they've got stuff that we can't get, so we'll be using the full resources of nbc's affiliate in philadelphia as we can. as their reporter keith jones just said we are waiting momentarily for what we expect to be a press conference from philadelphia mayor michael nutter also potentially some of the either police or fire chiefs there, who may be briefing on the scene. when we tell you about something that's yet unresolved and may be a very serious situation, there are some unconfirmed reports that first responders rescuers may not have been able to get access to all of the crashed train, that they may still be trying to get into some of the remaining derailed and crashed
cars and trying to get all the passengers out. i'm not saying that we have information that there are still passengers that are trapped inside this crashed car, we have unconfirmed reports that not all of the cars have been accessed by first responders at this point. we'll be waiting, obviously, for more specific information and more definitive information on that crucial question from the mayor, from the police chief, from the fire chief, anybody else that's going to be doing an official report. let's go back to wcau philly from the local hospital. >> reporter: during the time we've been out here but the number of injured at this hospital alone appears to be more than two dozen. that is a very informal count. as we come back to the live pictures, you can obviously tell that this is a hospital that is still possibly waiting more patients to arrive here. the other thing we've noticed
here on the ground is the number of temple hospital doctors and nurses who appear to have been called in from home off of their evenings to come in and assist with this event. so far, we're not getting official word out of the hospital about exactly how many patients they have here. it is obviously an ongoing situation, one that we are monitoring from the ground. and it has been very active. that is the latest right now live at temple hospital i'm george spencer, nbc10 news. >> and live above the scene in skyforce10 matt it's one thing to see the pictures and images from the ground quite another from the air. >> jacqueline i can tell you there's a very incredible scene up here. we've been watching live pictures on the ground but from up here you can get a better perspective of what happened out here earlier tonight. you can see just the mangled wreckage of those train cars that derailed and crashed, and you can see just down here in
this area you see some of the firefighters working to try to stabilize everything in this situation out here. also you can see right over here i'm going to throw on the screen here, the ladders where they tried to evacuate some of those passengers there the windows taken out where some of the passengers were able to get on to those ladders and get off of that derailed train right there. i'm going to ask my photographer so you can see how many of these cars are involved in all of this and really almost forms a "z" pattern out here where it just zigzags. you can see this entire area right here where the cars just derailed and it just continues on into this area here. it starts here and zigzags into this area here. there's also another train car perhaps the engine at the front that is just in that area ahead of the tracks right there. so this is really just a massive scene out here. we counted ability seven to
eight cars and we have about a four-block radius that is cordoned off as a result of all this. you can see just in this area right here we have fire department activity here we have activity here up here and even all the way over to the top left corner of your screen. so this is a massive response out here right now, and also just over here, one more thing, you can see this little spotlight out there. we have seen police helicopters out here trying to put light on the scene. if you look at this entire area you don't see a whole lot of light from street lamps or what have you. the trains come through late at night and don't have a whole lot of light that's out there on the area of the tracks and so they brought in the helicopters out here, presumably to try to shed some light on the scene so these investigators and firefighters and police officers who are out there on the scene right now can get a better look at these train cars and try to make sure everybody is stabilized and
okay. as we push back in one more time, you can just see how many of these crews are still out there on the scene and we're going to keep an eye live in skyforce10, but for now, that's the latest here jacqueline and jim, back over to you guys in the studio. >> matt from your perspective can you tell us there is a curve in the tracks? i know it is dark and you mentioned how dark it is. we saw that sea of flashlights trying to get to people but from your perspective on the air, can you tell if there is a sharp curve in the track anywhere near this derailment? >> reporter: we're going to pull back so we can give you a look at exactly what you're asking jim. you can see in this general area, i'm going to sort of draw where we see the tracks. kind of comes in that area, so there is a slight curve in that general vicinity. it does not appear to be a very sharp curve, but at this point from what we can see up here it does appear to be a light curve,
of course this is still very much under investigation, the investigators are out there right now. we can see them out there, along with the fire department crews. so this is going to be quite a task to figure out exactly what went wrong out here. you can just see all the carnage out here as a result. in fact, one more time as we zoom in here just go over to the left you can see this area. i was just pointing this out, you can see one of the beams from the power poles where they have the lines where it gets the electricity to run these trains that came off and crashed right into the train right there, as well. you have just a whole lot of debris out here and just a lot of -- a big mess out here. right now you see some of the spotlight problems from police trying to get some light to these workers who are really just trying to begin their efforts tonight to figure out exactly really what went wrong out here and just trying to piece together this mess that we
see in front of us right now. >> matt from what you can see, are people still being rescued from any of those cars or from what you can tell has everyone been removed from those cars and treated on the ground and already taken to the hospital or are you still seeing some rescue and recovery taking place? >> reporter: i would say within the past 15 to 20 minutes i have not seen anybody being taken out of one of these trains although you see firefighters and rescuers down there with the flashlights right now. we saw some of the police officers and rescuers going under the train with their flashlights just looking underneath to check to see if there are any other people who are still in there, but i have not seen anybody come off of these ladders, haven't seen anybody come out of these cars within the past 20 minutes that we have came inside here on skyforce10. so it does look at this vantage point that a lot of these workers are making sure at this point there are no other people
who are stranded out there on those trains and they are just going through all that debris next to the trains right now, perhaps looking for evidence and really trying to put together exactly what happened out here but for the most part i have not seen any other victims from the air here in skyforce10. >> matt we know that the ntsb the national transportation safety board is gathering information on this crash. we also know that the federal railroad administration is dispatching a team of investigators to come to the scene, but again going back to that steel beam that you saw that crashed right into that train, we don't want to speculate here but can you understand at all what might have caused that beam to wind up in the side of that train? >> reporter: at this point it sort of baffles me up here jim, to be honest with you, because you try to look at this entire scene and you try to figure out exactly what happened and it's really almost impossible. of course, as you mentioned, we don't want to speculate.
all these investigators are out here, it could take months perhaps a year or two before we get reports on the ntsb as to exactly what caused this and exactly what was at play here but you just see that when these trains derail how much debris is around this area and how much disruption was caused as a result. and you can almost see, we're kind of coming around to the other side here so you can get a better look at that power pole there that gives these trains the power here and it really is just bent at this point, and it's really just dangled on top of that train. i'm not an expert on trains so again, i'm not going to go into exactly what may have happened out here. it would be far too soon and far too presumptive at this point, but at this point we're seeing a lot of attention really focused on this general section. because this train is on its
side, almost upsidedown we're looking at the underbelly of one of the train cars right now. this is a sight you do not see too often and you talk about all the people who are injured, it's really a miracle at this point they were able to get out and the other passengers were able to get out unharmed. some of them who are injured at the moment of course escaped more serious injury. we don't know exactly what the train conductors were doing at the time to perhaps try to limit the destruction that you see in front of you right now, so a lot of questions still left to be answered. we're looking at a lot of emergency crews out there, they have the flashlight they are going up and down the adjacent tracks that you see right there in front of you and they are just going through piece by piece at this point and there is just so much debris out here that this could take a long time and these emergency crews and
these investigators could certainly be out here for quite a while. >> one more question matt before we go with you right now. do you notice any other types of trains freight trains anything else on the tracks at all, or just that amtrak? >> reporter: yeah in fact in this area right here you can see there are some freight trains that generally contain chemicals. again, we don't want to speculate what is contained in those cars. a lot of times you do have oil that comes up and down the corridors here but again, without knowing precisely what is in those cars we cannot say for sure. generally, they do have the markings on there, so the emergency crews will have some idea of what is contained in those vehicles but there does not appear to be a whole lot of attention focused around that area to where they would feel that there is an imminent danger to the public. doesn't appear they are trying to contain anything out there.
they are really focused on the derailed amtrak train and that's where all the lights are, that's where all the emergency crews are, and that's where everyone is looking at this point. >> and from what you can see lastly doesn't appear as though that train collided with anything. causing this derailment or possibly as it was taking the curve, lost control, of course preliminary, but to your vantage point nothing obvious sticks out? >> reporter: at this point, nothing obvious. again, you just see all the debris out here and you see some of the poles that are down you see some of the debris that is down on the ground laying on the tracks, who knows if it was there before this crash happened if something perhaps was on the tracks that caused these cars to go off the rails. so again, really everything is just -- >> we're moderating local coverage from nbc philadelphia. they are doing great coverage in
terms of their chopper and local reporters on the ground. let me give you an update what we have learned over these last few minutes. again, the basics here this is a northbound amtrak passenger train crash tonight. this crash happened in northeast philadelphia in a neighborhood called port richmond also near a neighborhood called frankford. if you want to get oriented in terms of where this happened. this is a rail line that runs very very close to interstate 95 which is the main east coast north/south interstate. very close to i-95 also close to the delaware river, the border between pennsylvania and new jersey. this is pennsylvania, this is northeast philadelphia, but this is very close to southern new jersey. this footage you can see shows the huge numbers of first responders on the scene. one of the open questions, again right now, is whether or not there still may be any ongoing rescue efforts, whether there may be passengers trapped inside any of these eight to ten cars
that have derailed and are just cattywampus, they are far off the rails, a number of these cars have turned and tipped. we have seen actually in that shot, you can see from the chopper some ladders that are put up against the side of the train. those apparently have been put up by first responders to assist any passengers that may have kicked out windows as a way of trying to exit these train cars. the windows is one side people were on the scene there quickly. the other sign you can get from these visuals in terms of the first responder response is how much light there is on the scene. there are tactical helicopters on scene illuminating from above with giant spotlights the overall scene to try and assist the effort on the ground. a reporter for the local abc station in philadelphia has also just reported via twitter that responders on the ground are also requesting that news helicopters and police helicopters that are flying over
this derailment to give you the kinds of shots we give you there also provide any additional light on the scene. this didn't happen until after 10:00 p.m. this evening. this is not a well built up area even though this is northeast philadelphia, this is sort of a wooded area at least the immediate vicinity of the crash, so there isn't necessarily ambient light sources other than those now being provided by the aircraft that are over this both the broadcast the footage, but also as part of the first responders. we've heard from people on the ground that there has been some buses on the scene taking passengers away from the site of the crash. again, unconfirmed reports that septa, the local regional transit organizations have had buses on the scene to remove people from the immediate area but, of course one of the other ways passengers have been leaving the immediate area is by ambulance. the estimate right now in terms
of our local nbc philadelphia affiliate, in terms of the number of injuries is there are more than 50 people injured. we have reports on the ground from temple university hospital in philadelphia proper that they have received a number of passengers and are preparing for more. they seem to have been activated for this what they are calling, again, a mass causality event. heard also other facilities other hospital facilities that have been either accepting passengers tonight or who have been making themselves available to accept passengers including jefferson hospital henman hospital frankford philadelphia a neighborhood where the train derailment appears to have happened. mayor nutter mayor michael nutter, the mayor of philadelphia, we have reports he is on scene. in terms of getting additional information, more definitive information about the severity of the crash, whether there are ongoing rescue efforts happening
right now and what the plan is for the rest of this evening, personally, i have to tell you covering this and looking at these images and wanting to know those scenes tell us anything about the cause of the crash, if those mangled train cars that we're seeing might indicate some people are still trapped inside a lot of these pressing questions, we're hoping to get answers so far from local authorities on the scene. whether that will come from a press briefing from the mayor, which we are told to expect or from fire commissioner chief, any other first responders, we don't yet know. we have not yet had any official word from anybody, any agency or responders in terms of what exactly is happening. again, this is a recent event. this happened in the 10:00 p.m. hour tonight. there is a huge first responder presence there, but we don't know at what stage this rescue effort is at. we don't know if there are still people to be rescued. we also don't know the extent of the injuries. one of the interesting, i guess,
coincidences, maybe it's a statistical likelihood given the route of this train, there was a u.s. senator onboard this train. he did exit just before the train crashed happened, senator tom carper was on board this train tonight before it did derail. let's get back into the nbc philadelphia coverage. >> reporter: many have gone on to the buses and taken three or four blocks closer to the derailment. you see here a firefighter ready to possibly get onboard there. again, all the tomahawks notified early on they should expecting many patients to come through. plenty of injuries to talk about and we did talk to one victim who was not severely injured. he was able to talk and talked about the jolt and all of a sudden the feeling of coming to a halt on this train when this
happened and being tossed and turned at this point. so he was one of the injured. many of them being taken and looked at at this point. that's the very latest right now at the intersection of frankford, nbc 10 news. >> as you've been updating us denise amtrak is telling us approximately 238 passengers were aboard this train. it was train 188 with service from washington, d.c. headed to new york city. the crew of five also onboard that train and service between new york and philadelphia, once again, amtrak saying it is cancelled for the night. >> we have seen some video from inside that train and we do want to show some of that to you. it was shot by an nbc producer on the train. >> watch and listen while people escape from that derailed train.
>> go go go go. >> can i just get out? >> hold on. >> courtney. >> chaotic and, obviously, very frightening situation. that was video shot by an nbc news producer who was onboard that train as we look live at pictures once again from skyforce10. you see all those first responders still on the scene there on the ground jackie with minimal light to shine on the aftermath of this derailment. >> many reports from people about what they encountered on that train. as rescuers were helping people also passengers onboard who were helping each other and some of those tweets we saw from people saying i'm okay but i'm helping others, please pray for others and it really was a team effort to get everyone off safely.
>> former pennsylvania congressman patrick murphy tweeted out he was okay but he also spoke to msnbc and described what he encountered in the aftermath. he was in the cafe car and said at first the train wobbled, then it felt like it just went off the tracks and he said they kicked out a window and were helping fellow passengers get out of that train. he said one passenger next to him was passed out or unconscious, and he said some of the injuries were so serious that some passengers could not move. again, we've been watching these live pictures for, oh the past couple of hours now. we did see people being taken out on stretchers. obviously, some with some serious injuries. >> if you're just -- >> one of the things we have been keeping eye on is the number of injuries the severity in nature of the injuries. obviously, at this point we are dreading hearing any specific information about potential fatalities. seems like a very serious crash. we do not have confirmed
information about fatalities at this point. one of the things we can tell you is as hospitals have been receiving passengers by ambulance, ambulance drivers, you can hear them in terms of dispatch, have been alerting hospitals to which they have been bringing patients that what they are seeing in terms of injuries, the character of the injuries have been described by ambulance drivers as lacerations and also fractures to the upper and lower extremities. depending on what train car you were in passengers may have been subject to different kinds of crash injuries and inertia injuries of the train coming to an abrupt halt. we'll await more information from either the hospital or local officials on scene in terms of the character of injuries, in terms of the cause of this accident what happened. we don't know. two senior police officials have told nbc news tonight that the cause of the derailment is quote, accidental. but that's again two police
sources, not an official word from anybody, and in terms of the accidental cause of this was, as of yet we have no idea. the ntsb has already started their investigation into what happened here in this northeast philadelphia passenger train derailment. on the phone now, former chair of the ntsb. thanks very much for being with us tonight. i appreciate it. >> happy to be with you. >> what will the ntsb be looking for and prioritizing in terms of their initial investigation here? >> well you know the team will really be getting their information together and getting en route tonight. i'd say their focus is probably going to be how they get there and making sure all of the evidence is secured. that would be recorders, any video cameras, any evidence really on scene to make sure officials are holding that down for their arrival and daylight hours for them to take a closer look tomorrow. >> what's the range of
possibilities that you consider when you're talking about a passenger train derailment in an environment like this? obviously, this is the northeast corridor this is a very very highly trafficked passenger rail corridor. lots of other trains have been through there today. nobody else had problems that we know of except for this train. in terms of the range of possibilities, what are the most likely suspects in terms of what would have caused a derailment like this if it is indeed, accidental? >> you know i think they'll be looking at typically three things looking at human beings involved, they'll be looking at the equipment, and they'll be looking at the environment. when it comes to trains train handling and operations it's the track. it's the equipment, the train set, the wheels making sure that everything is as it should be. certainly, if they identify any suspicious activity that looks like it might have been purposeful or intentional, then they'll call in the law
enforcement authorities. >> when you say the human beings involved that would imply both something that you know wasn't accidental, but potentially operator error in terms of the way the train was being driven? >> sure there's always handling that they'll take a look at making sure it was complied with making sure the operator was alert and was aware of what was going on so that would be one of those people they are going to want to talk to depending on their medical condition. >> one question for you, and this is an admittedly ill-informed question but one of the things i have been able to notice looking at the exact site of this crash, is that it does appear to be in a spot where there's a long gentle curve in the main train line there. is it a place where the train is going around a curve like that is that a place considered to be more likely for a derailment to
happen than on a straightaway? >> you know, there's all sorts of reasons why there can be derailments. certainly, they'll be looking at the track conditions but i would say this is a heavily traveled route, it's a route that sees many trains each day, northbound, southbound there's probably also commuter trains that are operating on some of these lines, and so many of those trains are equipped with cameras, so i suspect they are going to be looking at the trains that passed through prior to this one to see what was going on but lots of experience with respect to operations on this line so if there are any problems, any areas for maintenance or troubleshooting in the past, they'll have a record of those. >> debraorah hersman, thank you very much, appreciate your time ma'am, thank you. >> sure. >> again, footage that you're seeing is just remarkable in terms of the destruction here
the damage to that passenger rail car. again, as we've been talking about over the course of the night, if you've been a passenger on an amtrak car, you know there's a lot of open space inside a train, one of the reason traveling by train is more fun than rail frankly, you got move to room around room to move around big open aisle, there aren't seat belts, the train seats give you more space between them. in a dining car like former congressman patrick murphy was in tonight, there's a lot of space, including tables that seat four people and seats are very far apart. while that is a pleasure while you're a passenger on an amtrak train, it does mean you have a far distance to fly inside that car if that train car comes to an abrupt halt. knowing that and seeing the damage done to some of these cars is scary in terms of the causality numbers and severity is going to be tonight. in terms of the basics here i want to be clear, there is one type of amtrak train that is
faster than other types of trains, this is one of the rail lines where those trains run and they do run considerably faster than your average amtrak train, but this was not one, even though it was operating along that corridor. this is a regular amtrak train, train number 188, if you want to look at the schedule and its stops online that schedule is still available at the amtrak website. this train was traveling north from washington, d.c. north up the eastern seaboard. this train had left the station at philadelphia just before it crashed. it was heading north towards future stops at newark newark new jersey then newark new jersey penn state, then new york city penn station, then ultimately heading further north up to boston. but as this train moves into the northeast philly neighborhoods of port richmond and frankford, for some reason about eight to ten of these cars did derail. i mentioned that this train was
heading on to its next biggest station, would have been new york penn station. do we have our reporter on the scene at new york penn station? we've got our producer, rachel maddow show producer at new york penn station talking to people expecting this train and reacting to the derailment of the train cars and these injuries. nick, what have you been able to find out tonight at new york penn? >> hey, rachel the train station here is mainly filled with people that are right now delayed. amtrak announced that all of their northern corridor trains are suspended indefinitely at the moment so it's right now filled with people mainly trying to figure out how they are going to get on the train or the directions they were supposed to be going prior to the derailment. it's not filled here necessarily with families waiting for information, everybody doing that has cleared out at this point, but that's the situation here. >> all right, we'll check back in with you, nick. let's get back to nbc
philadelphia's coverage. >> reporter: you can just imagine how much force this train had when it went off the track to be able to bend the track like that. i mean train tracks are very very sturdy strong structures and for it to bend like that you can just imagine how much force that train had when it went into that area. i'm going to go over here to the left and i just want to show you something else where we see more of the rescue workers, more of the investigators at this point. we also saw just over here in the past five to ten minutes, it looks like the investigators have started what is known as a grid search where they put up tape in the area and they try to go piece by piece in a square area to try to find some debris and some evidence that can try to pinpoint exactly what happened out here early tonight. you can see how close it is to
the really mangled train car right there in that area of your screen. and we saw some of those workers, again, we had the helicopters from the police up here trying to shine some light out here. we also see some of the fire department workers, they have their trucks out here shining some light beams on to this area, as well. now you can see it illuminates every now and then. you see the bulk of the investigative effort we can just zoom in right up here to this area and we can get a better look at the fire department workers that are out there right now. we have not seen any other victims, any other train passengers get off of this train or be rescued from the train within the past half hour to 45 minutes, but they are down there with their flashlights really just trying to make sure. i mean you have to imagine that they are just trying to double check, triple check, quadruple check, really just to make sure anybody who may have still been
onboard any of these train cars is not still on there or in this pile of debris right now. you certainly hope not, from the images we're seeing and how much wreckage is out here. you hope is everybody is off and everybody is either safe or in the hospital being treated for their injuries at the moment. but you see so many of these firefighters out here with their flashlights just poring over all of the debris from this really mangled train car. this does appear to be the most heavily damaged car of the pack here. again, we saw eight to ten train cars in the line here and this does appear to be the most damage. we'll pull back one more time and give you another wide look at this area, and you can just see how many cars are involved here. just in this particular area here you can see just where it bends where you have some of the train cars that kind of went off the rail and kind of zigzagged
into this general area. it really is a sight to see, especially at this point where you have so many people who are in the hospital right now and presumably fighting for their lives because of how serious of a nature this crash was. it really just kind of zigzags from here all the way out to this area. you can see just down here where i'm drawing the line right now, that is where some freight trains are stationed at the moment and you see right off to this point here that is the engine, the front car, and also another freight train car there, as well. massive scene out here about four-block radius blocked off at the moment. you see emergency crews really all over this area. jim? >> we're listening to some of the footage from nbc philadelphia from wcau there. what we're waiting right now, see the gentleman on the right side of your screen those are local officials who are
hopefully going to get a briefing from relatively soon. no official word as to this response to this derailment in northeast philadelphia tonight. we're awaiting a briefing either from fire chief, police chief, other first responders potentially philadelphia mayor michael nutter who you see there, african-american gentleman with the goatee and the glasses. we haven't had official word from local officials yet, but we think we will. we do have an official statement from amtrak it's not particularly detailed. amtrak is clarifying that this was train 188, it was operating from washington to new york it derailed north of philadelphia. in terms of the number of people onboard, amtrak says approximately 238 passengers and five crew members onboard. they confirm that passengers have been taken to local hospitals. we're keeping an eye on three or four local hospitals that have received passengers or that have been prepared to receive
passengers tonight. one local fire commissioner calling this a mass causality event. best estimate that we have in terms of injuries right now is roughly 50 people injured, but we don't have a tight beat on that number nor of the severity of the injuries. i will tell you one very specific piece of information, if you are a person personally affected by this disaster in that you knew somebody you have a loved one or a family member who was onboard this train and you have not been able to get in touch with them if you need specific information about a passenger onboard this train, i'm going to give you the phone number right now, which amtrak has put out. a saying people can call this number if you have friends and family onboard the train. this is not for everybody. this is if you have a personal connection to the disaster 1-800-523-9101. again, this is the number that amtrak has put out for people to call with questions about friends and family who may have been aboard this train. amtrak's regional train 188,
operating from washington, d.c. heading toward new york tonight. again, the phone number to call if you knew somebody on that train and you need information about them from amtrak the number is 1-800-523-9101. one of the things that we are benefitting from honestly in terms of our ability to cover this is the light being shed on the scene from both first responder tactical helicopters, which allow us to see the totally upturned cars. i think now we're going to -- is the press conference starting now? all right. i will interrupt myself when that happens as soon as that press conference starts. that should be the first word we've had from local officials. as you see, one of the open questions, whether or not there are still people trapped inside these cars. let's listen in philadelphia mayor michael nutter. >> obviously, late this -- early this evening, rather amtrak
train number 188, which originated from washington, d.c., northbound to new york city derailed. officer gilliam will give you the exact time but somewhere around after 9:00 p.m. this evening. that incident required a four-alarm response from the fire department. fire department is in command in this scene. that resulted in 33 apparatus on the scene, 120 firefighters and other emergency management personnel responded. this went to a level three mass causality incident because of the number of personnel. 243 individuals on this train, five of whom are amtrak employees. unfortunately, we can confirm at least five individuals deceased. this is a preliminary estimate. the trains seven cars including the engine are in
various stages of disarray turned over upsidedown on their side. we are still investigating what's going on. a total of 200 police personnel responded to this incident as well. most individuals were able to walk off of the train. many were transported. you'll get that from the fire department. ntsb, the national agency is activated and investigating. amtrak personnel, as you can see the gentleman standing next to me on the scene, as well. full response fire police department of homeland security septa, amtrak and others and the state police. i've talked to governor wolf and his chief of staff. they are very concerned about this incident. i've given their full cooperation and support. all agencies actively engaged and involved. i've been down on the tracks, on the scene with my staff. it is an absolute disastrous
mess. i have never seen anything like this in my life and most personnel will say that as well. we want our families this was a northbound train from washington, d.c. to new york city. many of these folks do not live in philadelphia. and so we have information with regard to how people can get information on their loved ones. that will come from stan phillips, the director of the office of emergency management. stan? >> so as the mayor said we're just working to piece everything together right now. people in the philadelphia area looking for loved ones should go to the webster elementary school start there. we will work with you. we have a team there ready to support. we also have the ntsb en route and we'll be working with our colleagues in washington, d.c. and in new york to piece together family information. if you're local, start at webster and we'll provide you additional information. >> fire department? >> as the mayor said about 9:38, fire department personnel
responded and encountered six overturned trains. we immediately struck the second alarm and declared it a mass causality event. at 9:34 -- 9:35 we struck out the third alarm, then at 10:24 we struck the fourth alarm. as the mayor said that brings 43 apparatus and 120 personnel. this is a level three incident which means 18 medical implements were brought on scene. we have a total of six critical transports to area hospitals, including temple university einstein, tarsdale and a total of 43 transports for less critical injuries. others are walking wounded. >> police department? >> we have slightly more than 200 officers that have responded to the scene once this occurred and we realized the magnitude of it we called over our unit
midnight shift called early, recall from or s.w.a.t. unit our homeland security unit and the like. so the city was still covered for normal patrol. we brought in extra people and we extended shifts. we used a large number of tourniquets while assisting the fire department and triaging some of the injured, and so forth. more exact information for you tomorrow in terms of how many of those devices were used. as the mayor said everybody's responding and the investigation continues. >> amtrak? >> amtrak's focus right now is on working with the local responders to support all their needs and make sure passengers and crew of this train are receiving all the assistance and attention they need. for those of you who have families who have passengers maybe on this train you're concerned about that amtrak has an emergency hot line that you can call. the number is 1-800-523-9101.
again, that's 1-800-523-9101. please, call that number if you're concerned that you might have a relative or family member on this train. we can work with you to verify that. additionally, the northeast corridor is currently shut down we'll be focused on bringing it back to service as soon as we can once the scene is clear for amtrak to begin work. >> hold on for a second. two last pieces of information. the fire department is in command on this particular scene. all information, again, is very preliminary. we will do our best to answer any questions, but i need you to understand, if we don't have the information, we're not going to speculate. we do not know what happened here. we do not know why this happened. there is no information about that. we are not going to speculate about it. we'll try to answer any other questions that you might have. go ahead. >> how many people were hospitalized and what's the nature of their injuries?
>> again, six were critical. a total of 53 were transported by either medic unit or by buses. they were less critical but six critical confirmed. >> most of the injuries were they at the front of the train, can you tell us where? >> throughout the train there were injuries. east and west division early reports we had over 50 self evacuees on the east division and another 100 on the west division. both sides of the track, the victims and get them to the hospital. some were able to -- >> can you tell us about the state of some of those train cars? the mayor indicated it was a devastating scene. >> i've never seen anything so devastating. they are in pretty bad shape. you can see they completely completely derailed from the track, destroyed completely and they've been overturned completely. again, i don't want to speculate on the cause, but it is a devastating scene. >> can you talk about the difficulty getting to the victims on the train by fire personnel and police personnel?
>> special operations are on scene now. we have task force one in service, too. most people again, were able to self evacuate and that helped us out a great deal. the ones entrapped are special operations people put hydraulic tools to get them out. that took time. secondary searches are under way now to make sure everybody is out, but special operations people are doing a tremendous job. >> did you have -- >> absolutely we used hydraulic tools to get to the people that could not self evacuate. several people were entrapped. again, train cars are overturned they are in horrible shape. bunch of debris down there, sharp objects. it's a dangerous situation for responders, even more dangerous for the riders down there. but we were able to get them out with hydraulic tools. >> at this point do you believe you have everyone out of the train? >> i can't speculate on that. >> arewe're going to match up the manifest with this particular train with all the individuals who either walked off or were
transported. the at least five i have confirmed here based on our preliminary investigation who we know, unfortunately, are deceased. we are not going to try to speculate at the moment moment any comparison between who the -- the number that we believe were on the train. we have train cars completely overturned. on their side ripped apart. it is a devastating scene down there. we walked the entire length of the train area and the engine completely separated from the rest of the train and one of the cars is perpendicular to the rest of the cars. it's unbelievable. >> and again, mayor, how many people were on this train? >> the estimate at the moment is 243 individuals. five of whom we believe are amtrack employees. that's your conductor, personnel
and the rest we believe are passengers. that's a preliminary estimate. we will not be able to -- >> were you able to talk to any of the passengers while you were up there? >> no. i saw some individuals as i was standing in the street but i did not talk -- they needed medical personnel. that's all we've got. that's all we've got. >> thank you. >> philadelphia mayor michael nutter giving the first official briefing on what has happened with the derailment of an amtrack train in northeast philadelphia. we got new information from the mayor there, including the information that five people have been killed in this derailment. the mayor saying that is
preliminary information but also confirming that as a number at least five people killed. in his words, we do not know what happened or why this happened. he said having walked the length of the disaster the length of the disaster is it quote, an absolute disastrous mess. i have never seen anything like this in my life. this was a four-alarm fire department response and they are calling this a level three mass casualty incident. the fire department is in command on scene in terms of the total number of people when it derailed, the number that we've got now seems to be a firm number. 243 people total on board. that includes five members -- 238 passengers 5 crew members. again, very serious news tonight is that five people at least have been killed. now, in terms of the mangled wreckage that you see there, what that means for the survive
survivability of the crash, they used special operations firefighters who took hydraulic tools into some of these cars and cut the train apart in order to try to get to passengers. they rescued a number of passengers that way. they had to physically cut into the cars in order to get people out of them. even while they were proclaiming that they were able to save people that way, though neither the fire department nor the mayor nor anybody else who just spoke is able to actually confirm that everybody is accounted for. honestly, not to be alarming about this or alarmist about this, we don't know if there is still anybody trapped inside any of these mangled and overturned cars. the fire department saying at this briefing that just finished that what they are doing is secondary searches. they believe in terms of preliminary searches that they got out as many people as they could find but we don't know for sure if that means everybody is
out and we certainly don't know that all 243 people on board, including the five crew members, are accounted for. in terms of the overall scale of the response again, this is a large response in terms of personnel. you can see the personnel that have been on scene for a couple of hours now but it's also a large number of agencies. fire response, police response department of homeland security has a response here. septa, southeast pennsylvania transportation authority. the state police are on board. mayor nutter said he spoke with governor tom corbett about this. also the ntsb investigator who we spoke with moments ago, they are en route as well as the federal railway association. mayor nutter describing this as an absolute disastrous mess like nothing he has ever seen in
his life. in terms of the timetable tonight, the fire department described it as the first calls about this incident coming in at 9:38 p.m. and discovering what they said were six overturned cars. there will be four-alarms total sounded and four different fire companies responding to this. there are multiple hospitals involved in treating passengers here. the fire department again, in command on the scene saying what they can count in terms of the injuries thus far is six people who are critically wounded, the mayor saying that they believe at least five people have died. in addition to the five fatalities and six critical injuries, the fire personnel who spoke at the briefing there, at one point they said 43 and another point said 53 people who
had to be medically transported to local hospitals. we've seen some of the happening in terms of ambulances also septa buses were brought in to bring people to local hospitals. one of the people on board is former pennsylvania congressman patrick murphy. i know you don't have many minutes left in terms of your cell phone. thank you for helping us understand this tonight. what have you seen in the last few minutes since you've been on with us? >> rachel, everything was fine. in fact, we went northbound for new york and i was getting off at the next stop in trent, new jersey and i don't know if it was an explosion or something but the mid-dealt two cars start
shaking violently and i was facing southbound in the seat and tom could have been to my left. it bent one way, meaning it went first to the left and then to the east and pretty violent, pretty quick. but everyone that was on the left side of the car flew over to the right side of the car. >> congressman, patrick, do you know how close -- sometimes it's hard to get close to the front or rear of the train that you are. you were in the cafe car. were you towards the first cars towards the front of the train, the engine? >> yeah, from my understanding there was eight cars and i was in the third or fourth or fourth and fifth towards the front and
it looked like it was jackknifed or something by the time i got out. >> how did you get out? i know that you and other passengers -- >> i landed on my head and the guy next to me -- you know i just got myself up and then checked my body parts and everything was there and i had to pull myself up and there was a guy next to me that was okay and a guy next to us that was knocksed unconscious. i grabbed him and shook him a
little bit, slapped him in the face and said hey, buddy, hey, buddy. he eventually came to and there was a lot of screaming and folks flipping out. the first thing i did was pull myself up from the side of the train and pushed out the emergency window as far as i could and human nature, people are flipping out and they just had to get out, as if they were claustrophobic. i put my hand down and helped them get out and i made sure i put pressure on where they were bleeding from and i climbed over
the cantina to get over to the other side and there were two people that one could not move at all and one was delirious and i was trying to calm him down because he was bleeding and another guy was stuck behind one of those tables and could not move at all. >> how long before you saw any first responders? i'm trying to understand how long passengers were fending for himself and trying to help each other before there was any response. i imagine it felt like a very long time. >> it felt like a long time but people were trying to get